Cross contamination of allergens in your HACCP study.

Is the cross contamination of allergens considered in your HACCP study? Traditionally, control of cross contamination has focussed on cross contamination from raw food to cooked or ready to eat food. 

   The major food allergens, in the UK, are generally not affected by heat. Awareness of cross contamination must be raised at all stages of the preparation process. To confuse the issue, there are some foods that people are allergic to such as apples and tomatoes that are reacted to differently, if the food is cooked or raw.  Therefore cross contamination must be avoided at all times. The cross contamination from milk from cows to plant milks (including nut milks) and vice versa, is a good example of how cross contamination must be considered in every product type.

Separate colour coded or labelled utensils and containers  are essential if accidental cross contamination is to be avoided. In addition,  strict hand washing controls are essential. In a busy site, this becomes even more important when mistakes are easy to make, as people rush. Training is a key way to raise the profile of allergens. Training also  ensures that the team understand how important it is to get it right first time, every time. There is free online training available on the Food Standards Agency website. Click on the button to the left, under the apple image. 

There is general advice about food allergens on the FSA website, here. The Anaphalaxis Trust has a number of factsheets available here